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Leighton Smith Photograph

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Hamilton Basketball Tips Off

November 18, 2006   My favorite sport to watch here at Hamilton is men’s basketball. There are a few reasons why. First, our team is incredible. Last year, they went 23-5, won the Liberty League championship, and then won their first game in the NCAA tournament before eventually falling to Amherst College. In the first NCAA game, which was played at Hamilton, the boys took down SUNY Plattsburgh in overtime, 66-65. It was one of the most exciting athletic competitions I have ever seen in my life. Which brings me to the second reason why I love the basketball games here: the atmosphere.

Most of the basketball games take place in the evenings on the weekends. As a result, the stands are always filled with enthusiastic, carefree fans. Perhaps the most "carefree" fans are members of the Hamilton varsity football team, better known as “The Dogpound.” The football team members maintain a tradition of dressing in ridiculous costumes and standing on the baseline for the duration of home basketball games. They cheer, yell, jump around and, on rare occasions, have been known to trash-talk a little. Their antics are always good for a few laughs.

Home games also feature a variety of other attractions. The Hamilton Dance Team perform their routines during most of the time-outs, and the Cheerleading Squad is very vocal throughout the contests.

Last night, Hamilton started its season against Hartwick College and emerged victorious, 78-67. A good portion of the game was close because Hamilton committed a lot of fouls and missed some free-throws. Hopefully, these errors are just due to early season jitters. By the end of the game, however, Hamilton’s offensive firepower was just too much, and they finished the game with a comfortable lead.